Sunday, October 9, 2016

Stories Told Backwards & Verklempt

 I'm reading Nova Weetman's new YA Everything is Changed, a tale of two young men told backwards. You know from page one that something bad has happened, and a friendship is over, but you only find out what and why by going back in time. I always feel like I know the worlds Nova creates, and I feel like I know these boys. As I read associations fly around my head and it's like the book carries the ghosts of my teenage friends. I think it's true that a book only becomes a book when it's read, the reader brings their own experience to any story. Anyway, reading with a heavy heart, but loving it at the same time... It reminded me of another tale told backwards, Two Friends, Jane Campion's first film, scripted by Helen Garner, so I went hunting and found it at RMIT library and watched it last night. I would have seen this film when it came out (1986) (definitely remembered Soula's over-protective brother, and the party scene where the girls all dance to Do Re Mi's Man Overboard) and it's as I remembered it, kind of subdued, with flat but somehow still powerful dialogue. What I wasn't expecting the was the bolt of tears that came at the final scene. I went to bed a bit of a wreck. I don't even know if I can identify where the verklempt came from ... something to do with potential lost, and all the hopes you have and how life never works out how you imagine it will. Anyway, I recommend both, but maybe not with gin.

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